There are few other aircraft in the history
of aviation which are as famous, evocative and easily recognisable, as the F-86
Designed by North American Aviation, the
prototype XP-86 first flew on 1st October 1947, and the first F-86A's entered
service with the United States Air Force the following year. The Sabre soon
began setting speed records.... but it was in the Korean war where it was to
gain its greatest fame, as arch-adversary to the MiG-15.
The basic Sabre design was constantly
developed during its service life and its popularity and effectiveness led to
its selection by the air forces of no less than 35 different countries around
the world. As well as production in the U.S.A., Sabres were also assembled by
Fiat in Italy, Mitsubishi in Japan, and modified versions were license-built in
Canada as the Canadair CL-13, and in Australia as the Commonwealth Aircraft
By the time all manufacturing had ceased,
worldwide production stood at a grand total of 8,675 Sabres of various marks,
some of which were still in service in the 1980's.
Loved by all who flew it, the Sabre's
excellent flying qualities made it an obvious choice for formation aerobatics,
and of the 35 countries equipped with it, at least 21 of them had one or more
Sabre-mounted aerobatic teams at some point in their history.
Our display here represents a large
number of those Sabre aerobatic teams, illustrating the different types and
marks used, as well as the many highly-colourful schemes applied to the team
The display was staged on an area of
approximately 18 feet x 4.5 feet (5.8m x 1.5m) of table space. There are a
total of 142 models on the entire display, including four 1/48th scale Sabres,
one 1/32nd scale Sabre and all the rest in 1/72nd scale. They were all built by
15 of our members.